**EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education**
Volume 9, Issue 3 (August 2013), pp. 273-284

DOI: 10.12973/eurasia.2013.935a

Downloaded 598 times.

**Research Article**

*Published online on Jul 01, 2016*

How to reference this article?

**Investigation of Junior Secondary Students’ Perceptions of Mathematics Classroom Learning Environments in China**

Xinrong Yang

This paper reports the findings of a study investigating junior secondary school students’ perceptions of mathematics classroom learning environments in China. An adapted ‘What Is Happening In this Classroom?’ questionnaire was administered to a sample of 2324 junior secondary school students from 72 classrooms in six provinces. Data were analyzed using factor analysis, descriptive statistics, two-way ANOVA, and cluster analysis. It was found that Chinese junior secondary students generally did not perceive their mathematics classroom environments very favorably. Grade 9 students were found to perceive their mathematics classroom learning environments less favorably than Grade 7 and Grade 8 students did. Moreover, boys were found to perceive their mathematics classes as more inquiry-oriented and perceive themselves as relatively more mathematically involved, while girls perceived more opportunities for cooperation and knew what was needed to compete in mathematics classes. Three types of mathematics classroom learning environments, namely highly favorable, intermediately favorable, and lowly favorable as perceived by participants were further identified in this study.

Keywords: mathematics classroom learning environments, junior secondary school student, mathematics education in China

- Afari, E., Aldridge, J., Fraser, B. (2012) Effectiveness of using games in tertiary-level mathematics classrooms. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10, 1369–1392.
- Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach.Psychological Bulletin, 103,411–423.
- Ben-Chaim, D., Fresko, B. & Carmeli, M. (1990). Comparition of teacher and pupil perceptions of the learning environment in mathematics classes. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21,415-429.
- Biggs, J. B. (1998). Learning from Confucian heritage: So size doesn’t matter? International Journal of Educational Research, 29(8), 723–738.
- Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Chionh, Y. H., & Fraser, B. J. (2009). Classroom environment, achievement, attitudes and self esteem in geography and mathematics in Singapore. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 18, 29–44.
- Clarke, D. (2013). Contingent conceptions of accomplished practice: the cultural specificity of discourse in and about the mathematics classroom. ZDM: The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45, 21-33.
- Cobb, P.,Wood, T., Yackel, E., Nicholls, J., Wheatley, G., Trigatti, B., & Perlwitz, M. (1991). Assessment of a problem-centered second-grade mathematics project. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 22, 3–29.
- Ding, R., & Wong, N. Y. (2012). The Learning Environment in the Chinese Mathematics Classroom. In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching (pp. 150-164). New York: Routledge.
- Dorman, J. P. (2001). Associations between classroom environment and academic efficacy. Learning Environments Research, 4, 243–257.
- Dorman, J. P. (2003). Cross-national validation of the What Is Happening In This Class? (WIHIC) questionnaire using confirmatory factor analysis. Learning Environments Research, 6, 231–245.
- Fraser, B. J. (1998). Classroom environment instruments: Development, validity and applications. Learning Environment Research, 1, 7–33.
- Fraser, B. J. (2007). Classroom learning environments. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 103–124). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Fraser, B. J. (2012). Classroom learning environments: Retrospect, context and prospect. In B. J. Fraser, K.G. Tobin, & C. J. McRobbie (Eds.), Second international handbook of science education (pp. 1191–1239). New York: Springer.
- Fraser, B.J., & Kahle, J.B. (2007). Classroom, home and peer environment influences on student outcomes in science and mathematics: An analysis of systemic reform data. International. Journal of Science Education, 29(15), 1891–1909.
- Goh, S. C., & Fraser, B. J. (1998). Teacher interpersonal behaviour, classroom environment and student outcomes in primary mathematics in Singapore. Learning Environments Research, 1, 199–229.
- Huang, R., & Leung, F. K. S. (2004). Cracking the paradox of the Chinese learners: Looking into the mathematics classrooms in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In L. Fan, N. Y. Wong, J. Cai, & S.Li (Eds.), How Chinese learn mathematics: Perspectives from insiders (pp. 348–381). Singapore: World Scientific.
- Huang, T., Aldridge, J., Fraser, B. (1998). A cross-national study of percived classroom environments in Taiwan and Western Australia: Combing quantitative and qualitative apporaches (in Chinese). Science Education, 6(4), 343-362.
- Inagaki, K., Hatano, G., & Morita, E. (1998). Construction of mathematical knowledge through whole-class discussion. Learning and Instruction, 8, 503–526.
- Khalil, M. & Saar, V. (2009). The classroom learning environment as perceived by students in Arab elementary schools. Learning Environments Research, 12,143–156.
- Lee, S. Y. (1998). Mathematics learning and teaching in the school context: Reflections from cross-cultural comparisons. In S. G. Paris & H. M. Wellman. (Eds.), Global prospects for education: Development, culture, and schooling (pp. 45-77). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Leung, F. K. S. (1995). The mathematics classroom in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 29(4), 297-325.
- Leung, F. K. S. (2001). In search of an East Asian identity in mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 47(1), 35-51.
- Li, S. (2006). Practice makes perfect: A key belief in China. In F. K. S. Leung, K.-D. Graf & F. Lopez-Real (Eds.), Mathematics education in different cultural traditions-A comparative study of East Asia and the West (pp. 129-138). New York: Springer.
- Lopez-Real, F., Mok, A. C. I., Leung, F. K. S., & Marton, F. (2004). Identifying a pattern of teaching: An analysis of a Shanghai teacher's Lessons. In L. Fan, N. Wong, J. Cai & S. Li (Eds.), How Chinese learn mathematics: Perspectives from insiders (pp. 382-412). Singapore: World Scientific.
- Majeed, A., Fraser, B. J., & Aldridge, J. M. (2002). Learning environment and its associations with student satisfaction among mathematics students in Brunei Darussalam. Learning Environments Research, 5, 203–226.
- Mok, I. A. C., & Lopez-Real, F. (2006). A tale of two cities: A comparison of six teachers in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In D. Clarke, C. Keitel & Y. Shimizu (Eds.), Mathematics classrooms in twelve countries: The insiders’ perspective (pp. 237-246). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
- Opolot-Okurut, C. (2010). Classroom learning environment and motivation towards mathematics among secondary school students in Uganda. Learning Environments Research, 13(3), 267–277.
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2010). PISA 2009 results:Executive summary. Retrieved April 12, 2012, fromhttp://www.oecd.org/document/61/0,3343,en_32252351_46584327_46567613_1_1_1_1,00 .html#News_release_and_press_material.
- Paine, L. (1990). The teacher as virtuoso: A Chinese model for teaching. The Teachers College Record, 92(1), 49-81.
- Shao, G., Fan, Y., Huang, R., Ding, E., & Li, Y. (2012). Mathematics classroom instruction in China viewed from a historical perspective. In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching (pp. 11-28). New York: Routledge.
- Stevenson, H. W., Lee, S. Y., Chen, C., Lummis, M., Stigler, J., Fan, L., & Ge, F. (1990).Mathematics achievement of children in China and the United States. Child Development, 61,1053–1066.
- Stevenson, H. W., & Stigler, J. W. (1992). The learning gap: Why our schools are failing and what we can learn from Japanese and Chinese education. New York: Summit Books.
- Wang, D. (2011). The new curriculum and the urban-rural literacy gap: The case of one county in Western China. Chinese Education and Society, 44(6), 87–101.
- Watkins, D. & Biggs, J. (Eds.). (1996). The Chinese learner: Cultural, psychological, and contextual influences. Hong Kong and Melbourne: Comparative Education Research Centre and Australian Council for Educational Research.
- Watkins, D., & Biggs, J. B. (2001). The paradox of the Chinese learner and beyond. In D.Watkins &J. B. Biggs (Eds.), Teaching the Chinese learner: Psychological and pedagogical perspective (pp. 3–23). Hong Kong and Melbourne: Comparative Education Research Centre and Australian Council for Educational Research.
- Wong, N.Y., & Watkins, D. (1996). Selfmonitoring as a mediator of person-environment fit: An investigation of Hong Kong mathematics classroom environments. British Journal of Educ "